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Newer repertoire for chamber choir and strings

My chamber choir has been working with a good string group for a couple of years now. There is plenty of baroque and classical repertoire for chamber choir and strings, but more recent (Romantic through present) seems harder to find. Does anyone have repertoire suggestions? (We have had good experience with the Part Berliner Messe and the Vasks Dona Nobis Pacem.) Note: we can always add piano or organ to the mix.
I'd love to hear what you have had good experiences with.
on March 20, 2012 8:01am
Hi Roger. James MacMillan's 7 Last Words from the Cross is quite tricky, but it's one of the most wonderful and moving pieces of recent times. Definitely worth a look. There is an excellent recording by Polyphony on the Hyperion label.
Best wishes
on March 20, 2012 8:58am

Dear Roger,


Last December I conducted the first three performances of my cantata 'The Life of a Woman' in Brazil with a professional choir and string orchestra. Scored for Soprano and Cello Solo, SATB Choir and Small String Orchestra

'The Life of a Woman' is based around the text of the Magnificat, but with other poignant texts added. The following YouTube link  ( gives an indication of the piece though only the final

8-10 minutes of its full 26 minutes.


I can send you a score and a link to the full performance if you would like.


I am also just putting the finishing touches to my new Requiem for Soprano and Baritone Solo, SATB Choir and Strings which should be finished in early April. If you are interested I can send you some of the completed movements to look at.


Hope this is of some interest to you.


Stuart McIntosh


on March 20, 2012 11:10am
Mass in G by Schubert would be a good one to do with strings (and piano, if there is no wind).
Here is Kyrie movement.
There are solo parts, but they are not hard. So, it might be a good opportunity to feature some choir members.
Also, I did "Laetentur Caeli" by Kentaro Sato with my Youth Choir (18 girls and 8 boys). It is 14min 3-movement work, and it is easy SATB with strings and/or keyboard. It can be performed as SAB.
on March 21, 2012 6:41am
Contemporary Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds "Passion and Resurrection", for S solo, SATB quartet, choir, strings.  Around 30', it centers on the soprano soloist narrating the circumstances of various women around the Passion and Easter story.  The quartet is used to interpolate several Morales-inspired passages, and the writing for chorus and strings is quite stunning.  Published by Baltica Music
on March 21, 2012 8:02am
On the Beach at Night (poem by W. Whitman) by Andrew Imbrie
on March 21, 2012 9:10am
Ola Gjeilo has been doing some interesting work with the sonorities you are looking for.  Specifically Sunrise Mass (strings and chorus [divisi]-32 minutes) and a challenging setting of the S. John of of the Cross text Dark Night of the Soul (string quartet, piano, chorus [divisi]-about 11 minutes).  Both are published by Walton and available through Hal Leonard.  Go to the composers website for more informaiton and links.
Best wishes,
Scott Dean
on March 21, 2012 7:58pm
Michael Hurd's *Music's Praise* (Novello)
Vincent Persichetti: *Flower Songs* (Presser)
My own *Psalm 51*, which awaits a US premiere...
Hope this helps,
Robert A.M. Ross
on March 22, 2012 5:25am
Check out Libby Larsen's "To a Long-Loved Love" for SATB chorus and string quartet,  texts by Madeleine l'Engle.
on March 22, 2012 7:14am
Another vote for MacMillan's "Seven Last Words" - extremely effective pieces, tricky in places but it's always clear what you have to do vocally, and why.
on March 22, 2012 8:30am
Gwyneth Walkers Dreams and Dances, three movements.
on March 27, 2012 9:47am
Dear Roger,
I would highly recommend that you consider “Requiem Prayers,” by the distinguished composer, Richard Toensing, Although this work was originally written to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, it is perfectly appropriate for memorial services or other special occasions. Performance time is approximate 9 minutes, and the score calls for SATB choir (with occasional divisi) two soprano soli (drawn from the chorus), off-stage solo violin, piano, and strings. Visit, for a look at the score. And, be sure to contact me for additional information.
All the best,
Janet Braccio
Bella Voce Communications
on April 16, 2012 6:41am
James Woodman, The Midwife's Tale. String quintet (yes, you really need the bass) OR organ, a good option. Vocal parts not difficult, beautiful harmonic language and craftsmanship, lovely text, about 10 minutes. Great for Christmas in particular.
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